- Give ELLs Tools to Practice Language Skills
- Recipes for Parent Success
- Indicators In Action
- Doing What Works

Give ELLs Tools to Practice Language Skills

Cultural Diversity: Part Three of a Three-Part Series

Giving English Language Learners a chance to practice their oral language skills is important. They really do need to "talk the talk." Here are three projects that will give ELL students the opportunity to practice talking and also expand their overall language skills:

1. Have students create podcasts. Ask students to think about a story they want to tell. It can be about events in the school or community. It could be a fictional story. Have them write a script and then record it. There are many free tools, such as GarageBand for Mac computers, that will allow students to record and edit their scripts. Let students explore adding sound effects and music to their podcasts. You can then place the podcasts on your school's website for parents to hear.

2. Turn students into reporters. What's happening in your school? Give students a video camera and let them report and record the news. Students can serve both as on-air reporters and the subjects of interviews. There are several free versions of video editing software available. Once students have finished a story, share it on your school newscast or on the school website.

3. Let students create their own wikis. Although your students are often receivers of information, they are also experts in many areas. Go to and sign up for a free account. As the teacher, you will be able to control who can access the wiki and contribute content. Then let your students do the research and write up their findings to create their own web pages.

Reprinted with permission from the June 2012 issue of Better Teaching® (Secondary Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2012 The Teacher Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: "Technology Recipes for English Language Learners,"

Recipes for Parent Success

Indicators In Action

Indicators in Action is a website produced by the Academic Development Institute. The website provides free tutorials and video demonstrations for research-based indicators of effective practice in three courses: Instruction, Leadership, and School Community. The Instruction Course has three modules with information and demonstrations pertaining to instruction planning, classroom management, and classroom delivery. The Leadership Course has three modules with information and demonstrations pertaining to the role of the principal, teams, and professional development. The third Course, School Community, has five different modules with information and demonstrations pertaining to the curriculum of the home, shared leadership and goals and roles, the compact, homework and studying and reading at home, and a welcoming place and a connected community. The website offers free tools and templates and the Instruction and School Community Courses offer printable workbooks and facilitators guides. Visit the website by clicking and take advantage of this valuable resource.

Doing What Works

The Doing What Works website is a free online website that translates effective research-based education practices into practical tools that support and improve classroom instruction. The site is organized about six topics: data-driven improvement, quality teaching, literacy, math and science, comprehensive support, and early childhood. These are drilled down into more focused content sections. The content for each section is organized into four areas; practice summary, learn what works, see how it works, and do what works. Each of the areas has multimedia overviews, interview vignettes; presentations; and sample materials to use. The overview, interviews and presentations are fairly short.

Visit the site at and enjoy exploring the site.

Summer 2012